According to Al-Sharq Al-Awsat website, Rania Al-Mashat, Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation said Egypt has officially begun the implementation of an electrical interconnection project with Saudi Arabia.
This move is part of the two countries’ commitment to strengthening bilateral cooperation and maximizing development efforts and regional integration to enhance economic integration and promote joint investments.
According to Al-Mashat, “The work is currently underway to implement electrical interconnection projects with Saudi Arabia, which will enhance the energy capacities of both countries and promote regional energy integration. This project will connect the largest electrical systems in the Arab world, contributing to development efforts.”
The Minister of International Cooperation emphasized that the electrical interconnection between Riyadh and Cairo will enhance the stature of both Egypt and Saudi Arabia as key pillars of comprehensive Arab connectivity.
The project is supported by Arab financing institutions, with an estimated contribution of around $484 million.
Al-Mashat also highlighted the constructive cooperation with the Saudi Fund, along with other Arab financing funds, to support comprehensive development in the Sinai Peninsula. This cooperation has facilitated the implementation of major projects in water desalination, water treatment, agricultural and rural development, and education. She further emphasized Egypt’s openness to China as part of a group of countries with shared interests.
During her participation in the China-Arab Business Conference held in Riyadh under the auspices of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Al-Mashat revealed that more than two thousand Chinese companies are investing in Egypt. The government is working to further incentivize foreign direct investments.
Al-Mashat emphasized that China is the largest trading partner for Arab countries. As emerging economies strive to diversify their economic sectors and overcome developmental challenges, the Belt and Road Initiative serves as a driving force for achieving these goals through diversification of economic growth sources, expansion of infrastructure projects, and economic integration among nations, as well as the promotion of digital transformation in participating economies.
She also highlighted that Egypt has become a founding member of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, which aims to support global development and provide financing for projects along the Belt and Road Initiative. Additionally, Egypt has joined the newly established development bank of the BRICS countries, which she considers a new actor in supporting development in emerging economies through promoting cooperation.
Al-Mashat emphasized the importance of developmental financing from these institutions, which will greatly support the implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative, given the substantial funding required for infrastructure projects. She emphasized the long-term and low-yield nature of these financings compared to commercial funding. The discussions at the China-Arab Business Conference serve as a catalyst to strengthen private sector relations between the two sides, stimulating joint efforts to support development and prosperity.
The Minister of International Cooperation in Egypt also highlighted the strong relationship between Cairo and Beijing, noting that Chinese investments in Egypt exceed $8 billion, with over two thousand companies operating in various fields, especially electronics, textiles, technology, and telecommunications. She emphasized that the China-Arab Business Conference will contribute to enhancing the idea of investment and financing in Belt and Road Initiative countries.
She pointed out that the goals of the Belt and Road Initiative, launched by China, align with the developmental objectives and priorities pursued by the Egyptian government, such as promoting economic integration and cooperation with friendly countries, developing infrastructure, and implementing large-scale projects that enhance Egypt’s position as a logistical center within the Suez Canal Economic Zone.
Al-Mashat affirmed that the Suez Canal serves as an attractive factor for Chinese and global investments, stimulating the achievement of sustainable development goals. She highlighted that the goals of the Belt and Road Initiative integrate and align with the developmental priorities of Egypt, which aim to enhance economic integration with neighboring countries, promote shared prosperity, and expand infrastructure projects.
She affirmed that Egypt’s efforts and measures to improve the investment climate and stimulate further foreign investments in the Suez Canal Economic Zone have been a significant attraction for Chinese investments and have enhanced the economic integration aimed at by the Belt and Road Initiative.
She explained that Chinese investments in the Suez Canal have contributed to the establishment of the Chinese “TEDA” industrial zone, which represents a fruitful collaboration between the two countries. The zone aims to attract dozens of Chinese companies to operate within the area, which is seen as a vital logistical, commercial, and industrial hub for connecting Asia and Europe.
The Minister of International Cooperation stated, “Currently, around 134 Chinese companies are operating in the TEDA zone near Sokhna Port, and our goal is to attract more companies and investments that create employment opportunities and support Egyptian-Chinese relations at all levels.” She highlighted the significant development in Egyptian-Chinese relations in the current era, along with Egypt’s openness to enhancing economic relations with multilateral and bilateral development partners.